How to Set Up a Homework Station
For many families, the summer is coming to an end and back to school preparation is taking place. This year, in addition to clothes and lunchboxes and folders, we are also setting up a homework station. Organization is key in getting homework done a little more easily and as stress free as possible. Here are our tips for setting up your own homework station.
1) Location, Location, Location
Choose a space in your home that is centrally located to wherever your children will be doing homework. The table and chair should be comfortable for the size of the child as well. All children who will be doing homework should be able to reach all the materials. On the other hand, if there are young siblings they should not be able to reach the materials, this can be a tricky balance; a higher shelf and a stool might be helpful in this situation.
The space should also be free of clutter and I recommend keeping homework materials separate from art supplies. This year, with two children doing homework every day, I want a space where they can work together, so the kitchen table is our go-to spot. Having the boys work close together allows the younger one to ask the older one for help if he needs it. I also want to lay the groundwork for schoolwork to be done at the kitchen table so when they start using computers and searching the internet, I am close by to monitor.
Besides being centrally located, the kitchen table works for us because it has enough room for books and papers to spread out. For your family other locations in your home may be be better suited for your child, possibly the bedroom, family room or den.
2) Choose Creative Containers For School Supplies
As the children arrive home, have containers/baskets where each can put that day’s homework straight from their backpack! No rummaging around later to find it! There are so many options for organization out there; caddies or baskets are handy as well as using found containers/jars from around the house. I chose mason jars to be placed on a lazy susan because every material can be easily seen and also because this is the way we’ve been storing art supplies for some time, so it’s familiar to them.
Because we are starting the school year off with such bright colorful supplies I really wanted to show them off so my kids are intrigued and inspired. To have the kids get more involved invite them to label /decorate the jars/containers with their art supplies. They are far more likely to engage and use materials when they are comfortable with how they are arranged or presented.
In the past we’ve used a caddy that can be picked up and brought outside or to different areas of the house. Depending on your set-up and if you need to move the homework station back and forth from the kitchen table or other area consider a rolling cart that can easily hold all the supplies.
3) Materials To Have On Hand
Here’s a basic list of school supplies to stock for your homework station:
- Graphite #2 Pencils
- Pens-basic ink and colored ink
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Lined Paper
- Graph Paper
- Scissors, rulers and glue
Here is the best part! School supplies do not have to be boring yellow pencils and pink erasers because I discovered OOLY! They have so many amazing supplies for school and homework that it was super tough to decide what to incorporate into our homework station.
For My Just Starting School Kid
Pencils are absolutely a must, my youngest loved the Sweet Things Graphite pencils especially when I matched them with Donut shaped scented erasers. Or for a change up, there are Monster decorated pencils and matching erasers too! Crayons are needed almost every day for Kindergarten homework so I’m very excited for my 5-year-old to use the OOLY Left Right Crayons. In addition to being needed for homework, I know these will help him with his grip, fine motor control and handwriting skills. And he can use the cutest sketchbook-shaped like a dog’s face with a carrying handle; which makes it great for art on the go too!
And for My Early Grade School Son
My 8-year-old feels very grown up with his new highlighters that are erasable! And has graduated to using pens sometimes but they are more fun with Monster face caps. Yet he still shows his childlike side while playing around with the bird & monster pencil holders. In case, he needs to take notes, these little pocket size journals are a perfect fit because with the monster motif not too grown-up for him. He is my artistic child so I have the Paperworks Works Sketchbook handy, it has white, black, kraft and graph paper. Lending it to more than just artwork. When you have a product that is multi functional, it’s plus in my book like the The Sketch & Color Pencils Set. It has graphite pencils and colored pencils plus a sharpener-perfect!
Sometimes price matters but so does quality and I am happy with our OOLY supplies.
The bright colors, the fun themes and the unique aspect of all things OOLY make them the perfect place to pick up supplies for your homework station and to get your children excited about this task that can often present itself as boring and monotonous. I know that I am more enthusiastic about work when I have fun and inspiring tools and an organized space.
Have a great school year!